Hometheater setup advice needed

annicse

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Jan 17, 2020
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Imrul Hasan
I am a music lover and new to this forum. I want to setup a new home stereo system but in a dilemma of choosing the right options. About myself: music first then movie, both are important. I thought of going for a soundbar that is also good for music listening. But there are so many options and price points and my budget is not huge. I also thought of going for a couple of bookshelf speakers.

Here are some thoughts:
  • Good sound for music listening.
  • Good for movies also. Good stereo separation and feel for surround. Not looking for atmos or dtsx right now, in future upgrade possibility. I am not sure how much a 3.1 soundbar offers for surround sound. Can I achieve similar surround sound from couple of bookshelves and a center?
  • I am also open for a soundbar that produce good sound for music also.
  • If I go for bookshelf, then I need to buy an amp also. In that case, I should probably go for AVR instead of stereo amp? But, are AVRs good for music listening also?
  • I also want some smart feature with my system like chromecast built in, spotify connect, etc. A built in google assistant would be great.
  • Smallish apartment (do not want to use rear, ceiling speakers, huge sub).
What I looked for so far:
  1. Yamaha YAS 209 soundbar.
  2. Sony HT-ZF9 soundbar.
  3. Samsung HW-MS660 / XE Or HW-MS550 soundbar.
  4. Sonos beam (with the sub it becomes very expensive for me)
  5. Bose soundtouch 300 (with the sub it becomes very expensive for me)
  6. Couple of Dali oberon 1 (But not sure what to use for amp. Need HDMI ARC support)

My budget is somewhat 500 to 650 USD. I know I sound very confused, but that is how I feeling. If had a big budget, there wouldn't be any problem. But in tight budget, it's very problematic. Any advice would be really really appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Jim517

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Jim
I would not use a soundbar for listening to music. I recommend an A/V receiver and a 2.1 system to start off with. I use a 2.1 system for music and movies in our family room.

1) I paid $75 for a pair of Sony Core bookshelf speakers around Black Friday. Now they're $148 on Amazon. Excellent speakers.

2) I have the Dayton 12" sub which costs $150, which I really like. 10" is $120.

3) That leaves some money for a receiver such as the Yamaha RX-V485, $329 on Amazon.
 
Last edited:

rbstern

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Aug 14, 2018
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Rich Stern
A lot of it comes down to your perception of what a quality listening exprience is. For example: I have a 2.1 Samsung soundbar setup in my great room, where we watch TV casually and listen to music during dinner or while distracted by other activities (guests, cooking, etc.). It's a perfectly satisfying listening experience in that mode.

On the other hand, my home theater setup has a bunch expensive speakers, dual subs, an 11.2 channel AVR, and careful tuning. Music sounds awesome in that room. So do movies. There's no comparison between that setup and any soundbar.

Are you the type who's happy when you listen to music over a decent Bluetooth speaker? If so, go with the best soundbar/sub combo you can afford. If you appreciate what happens when you apply quality equipment and tuning to music, then think about going with an AVR type setup, with most of the budget spent on the 3.1 speakers. If you can make it work, consider getting 2 rear surround speakers, even wireless ones. It makes video content feel MUCH more immersive.
 

Al.Anderson

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Al
I love when people post a question, then go AWOL !
I agree with you, drives me nuts. Now I try to give a very short overview answer and ask a question, if they reply back I'll go in to more depth. I learned that from Really-Smart-Cranky-Guy (I forget his name) who was on here a lot a few years back.
 

JohnRice

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I agree with you, drives me nuts. Now I try to give a very short overview answer and ask a question, if they reply back I'll go in to more depth. I learned that from Really-Smart-Cranky-Guy (I forget his name) who was on here a lot a few years back.
I've adopted a similar strategy. There's always a question to ask. Sometimes people never come back, but sometimes they snap back with "just answer the question".
 

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